Most Famous Celebrity From Every State
Celebrities are just like us. Well, maybe not anymore.
But before they were rich and famous and recognized everywhere they went, they all had to start somewhere. With dreams of making it big, they worked hard, caught a big break, and became the stars we see today.
These are the most famous celebrity from every state, based on where they were born or grew up.
Alabama: Octavia Spencer
Born: May 25, 1970
Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama
High school: Jefferson Davis High School (Montgomery)
College: Auburn University
Bottom line: Octavia Spencer was born in Montgomery, Alabama, a place she calls the "buckle of the Bible Belt." She grew up in a large family of seven kids and attended Auburn University in Alabama.
In 1995, she won a small film role opposite Sandra Bullock in "A Time To Kill," and her star began to rise. Spencer is best known for her roles in critically acclaimed movies "The Help" and "Hidden Figures."
She is one of only 11 actresses who has won Critic’s Choice, BAFTA, Oscar, Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe awards in the same year.
Born: May 23, 1974
Birthplace: Payson, Utah
High school: Interlochen Center for the Arts (Interlochen, Michigan)
Bottom line: Singer and songwriter Jewel Kilcher is a native of Homer, Alaska, where she grew up in a log cabin. She started performing at 5 with her musical family and started playing guitar at 16.
Jewel’s 1995 debut album, "Pieces of You" went platinum and established her as a folk music superstar. She later wrote a book of poetry that sold over two million copies, one of the best-selling books of verse ever in America.
Jewel is well-known for yodeling at her concerts and for her crooked teeth.
Arizona: Emma Stone
Born: Nov. 6, 1988
Birthplace: Scottsdale, Arizona
High school: Xavier College Preparatory (one semester, then dropped out to become an actress)
Bottom line: Emma Stone was born and grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, where her parents owned a golf course. She started acting with the Valley Youth Theatre in Phoenix as a child. Stone’s first role was in "The Wind in the Willows."
She developed a passion for acting, and, at 15, persuaded her parents to let her move to Los Angeles. In January 2004, she and her mother got an apartment near Hollywood. "I went up for every single show on the Disney Channel and auditioned to play the daughter on every single sitcom," Stone recalled. "I ended up getting none."
Stone made her film debut in "Superbad" in 2007, and her acting credits include films "The Favorite," "The Help" and "Birdman." She is best known for her role in "La La Land" for which she won an Oscar for Best Actress in 2017.
Arkansas: Billy Bob Thornton
Born: Aug. 4, 1955
Birthplace: Hot Springs, Arkansas
High school: Malvern High School (Malvern, Arkansas)
College: Henderson State University
Bottom line: Billy Bob Thornton was born in 1955 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Thornton started out as a musician, playing drums and singing. He moved to Los Angeles with a childhood friend, Tom Epperson, to sell their jointly written scripts to Hollywood. They struggled for years but were finally successful with "One False Move," in which Thornton also starred.
Thornton achieved even more success with "Sling Blade," which he wrote, directed and starred in, and won the Oscar for Best Screenplay. Thornton said that he based the story on people, places and events he knew growing up in Arkansas.
He has also appeared in "Monster’s Ball," "Bandits," "Love Actually" and "Our Brand is Crisis."
California: Kim Kardashian
Born: Oct. 21, 1980
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
High school: Marymount High School (Bel-Air, California)
College: Pierce College
Bottom line: Kim Kardashian is one of the most famous celebrities in the world, a reality TV star and businesswoman. She was born in Los Angeles in 1980.
Kardashian first appeared in the public eye in the reality series, "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" in 2007. The series will end in 2021 after 14 years. She has created a fashion brand, makeup and perfume lines, and huge social media following — over 60 million on Twitter — all of which have made her a highly paid spokesperson and a multimillionaire.
Kardashian is working to become a lawyer without going to law school. California does not require a law degree to take the bar exam. This special program called the California Law Office or Judge’s Chamber Program is available to anyone, and Kardashian is participating in it.
Colorado: Tim Allen
Born: June 13, 1953
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado
High school: Seaholm High School (Birmingham, Michigan)
College: Central Michigan University, Western Michigan University
Bottom line: Tim Allen was born in 1953 in Denver, Colorado. After the death of his father in a car accident when Allen was 11, his mother remarried, and the family moved to Michigan.
Allen’s favorite subject in high school was shop class, and then he got into radio and television production in college. After college, he was arrested on drug charges and went to prison for two years. After getting out, Allen began a career in comedy.
In 1991, he became the star of "Home Improvement," which ran for eight seasons. After the show ended, Allen moved into movies, and appeared in a number of blockbusters, including "Galaxy Quest," "The Santa Clause" and the "Toy Story" franchise.
Connecticut: Seth McFarlane
Born: Oct. 26, 1973
Birthplace: Kent, Connecticut
High school: Kent School
College: Rhode Island School of Design
Bottom line: Comedian, writer, producer, director and actor Seth McFarlane was born in Kent, Connecticut, in 1973.
He studied animation at the Rhode Island School of Design and after graduation worked for Hanna-Barbera Productions and Walt Disney Animation.
The Fox network asked McFarlane to create a pilot for a show, which became "Family Guy." He has since created the TV sitcoms, "The Orville" and "American Dad!"
Delaware: Ryan Phillipe
Born: Sept. 10, 1974
Birthplace: New Castle, Delaware
High school: New Castle Christian Academy
Bottom line: Actor Ryan Phillipe was born in New Castle, Delaware, in 1974. He started his acting career on the soap opera, "One Life to Live." Phillipe’s recurring character was daytime TV’s first openly gay teenager.
Phillipe appeared on several other TV shows before crossing over into movies. He is best known for roles in "Crash," "I Know What You Did Last Summer," "Gosford Park" and "Flags of Our Fathers."
He married Reese Witherspoon in 1999, and they had three kids before getting divorced in 2007.
Florida: Ariana Grande
Born: June 26, 1993
Birthplace: Boca Raton, Florida
High school: Pine Crest School and North Broward Preparatory School
Bottom line: Singer and actress Ariana Grande was born in 1993 in Boca Raton, Florida. She started singing and acting at 15 in the Broadway musical "13."
Grande then went on to play Cat Valentine in the Nickelodeon series "Valentine" and its spin-off "Sam & Cat." Her recording career started with the soundtrack from the show "Valentine."
Grande then released "Yours Truly," her first solo album. All five of Grande’s albums have gone platinum. She’s won three American Music Awards and one Grammy and is considered one of the greatest pop singers of her generation.
Georgia: Dakota Fanning
Born: Feb. 23, 1994
Birthplace: Conyers, Georgia
High school: Campbell Hall (North Hollywood)
College: New York University
Bottom line: Actress Dakota Fanning was born in 1994 in Conyers, Georgia. She started acting as a child, at a playhouse where children would put on plays for their parents.
The owners advised her parents to take her to a talent agency, since she showed great promise as an actress. Fanning’s family moved to Los Angeles to support her career. She first appeared in commercials and then began getting small roles in movies.
Fanning’s big break came in the movie "I Am Sam" for which she won a Critic’s Choice Award. Fanning has since appeared in "Man on Fire," "War of the Worlds," "Coraline" and "Effie Gray."
Hawaii: Jason Momoa
Born: Aug. 1, 1979
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii
High school: Norwalk High School (Norwalk, Iowa)
College: Des Moines Area Community College, Colorado State University
Bottom line: Actor, producer and director Jason Momoa was born in 1979 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was raised by his mother in Iowa, where Momoa attended high school, then moved back to Hawaii after graduation and some time in college to get to know his father better.
He landed a lead role in the TV series "Baywatch," which launched his acting career. Momoa moved to Los Angeles after "Baywatch" ended. He was cast as Ronon Dex in "Stargate: Atlantis," a show that became a cult classic.
Momoa went on to appear in the megahit "Game of Thrones" and to star in "Aquaman."
Idaho: Aaron Paul
Born: Aug. 27, 1979
Birthplace: Emmett, Idaho
High school: Centennial High School (Boise)
Bottom line: Actor Aaron Paul was born in Emmett, Idaho, in 1979. Growing up, he performed in plays.
In high school, Paul joined the theatre department and decided, as a teenager, that he wanted to be an actor. After graduation, he moved to Los Angeles.
Paul began to appear in commercials and had small roles in TV series and movies. His breakthrough came when he landed the role of Jesse Pinkman in "Breaking Bad" — a role for which he won three Emmy Awards.
Illinois: Melissa McCarthy
Born: Aug. 26, 1970
Birthplace: Plainfield, Illinois
High school: St. Francis Academy (now Joliet Catholic Academy)
College: Southern Illinois University, Fashion Institute of Technology
Bottom line: Comedian and actress Melissa McCarthy was born in Plainfield, Illinois, in 1970, and grew up on a corn and soybean farm.
She started performing as a comedian in New York City, appearing at clubs such as Stand Up New York and The Improv. McCarthy trained at The Actors Studio and acted in stage productions before moving to Los Angeles. Her breakthrough came when she landed the role of Sookie on "The Gilmore Girls," and by 2010, she had her own sitcom, "Mike & Molly."
McCarthy has since appeared in a number of movies, including "Bridesmaids," "Ghostbusters" and her Academy Award-nominated role in "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"
Indiana: Brendan Fraser
Born: Dec. 3, 1968
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana
High school: Upper Canada College (Toronto)
College: Cornish College of the Arts (Seattle, Washington)
Bottom line: Actor Brendan Fraser was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, but grew up all over the world, as his Canadian parents moved often (he holds both American and Canadian citizenship).
He fell in love with theatre when living in London and trained as an actor. Fraser appeared in supporting roles in movies, until having his breakthrough in the lead in "George of the Jungle."
He is probably best known for his starring roles in "The Mummy" franchise and "Inkheart."
Iowa: Ashton Kutcher
Born: Feb. 7, 1978
Birthplace: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
High school: Washington High School (Cedar Rapids), Clear Creak Amana High School (Tiffin, Iowa)
College: University of Iowa
Bottom line: Actor Ashton Kutcher was born in Cedar Rapids in 1978 and grew up in rural Iowa.
While attending the University of Iowa as a biochemical engineering student, he was discovered by a talent scout and dropped out of school to pursue a modeling career, before switching to acting. Kutcher is best known for his roles on the TV series "That '70s Show" and "Two and a Half Men."
He and his ex-wife Demi Moore established a charitable foundation that targets child sex trafficking and slavery. He later married actress Mila Kunis, and they have two children together.
Kansas: Janelle Monáe
Born: Dec. 1, 1985
Birthplace: Kansas City, Kansas
High school: F. L. Schlagle High School (Kansas City)
College: American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Perimeter College at Georgia State University
Bottom line: Actress, singer and model Janelle Monáe was born in Kansas City, Kansas, in 1985.
She began her career as a model and performer, and her music has won six Grammy Award nominations.
Since switching to acting, Monáe has had critically acclaimed roles in the movies "Hidden Figures" and "Moonlight," and she played the lead in the film, "Antebellum."
Kentucky: Jennifer Lawrence
Born: Aug. 15, 1990
Birthplace: Indian Hills, Kentucky
High school: None (dropped out of school at 14 after attending Kammerer Middle School in Louisville)
Bottom line: Actress Jennifer Lawrence was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1990. She began acting and modeling at 14.
Lawrence has been called the most successful actress of her generation and is one of the highest-paid actresses in the world. She is most famous for her leading role in the "Hunger Games" and "X-Men" franchises.
Lawrence won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in "The Silver Linings Playbook."
Louisiana: Reese Witherspoon
Born: March 22, 1976
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana
High school: Harpeth Hall School (Nashville)
College: Stanford University
Bottom line: Actress and producer Reese Witherspoon was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1976 and grew up in Louisiana, Germany and Tennessee. At 7, she began modeling and acting in commercials, and she landed her first film role at 14 in "The Man in the Moon."
Witherspoon continued to appear in films while she attended college at Stanford University but left school to pursue acting full-time. Her big breakthrough came when she played Elle Woods in "Legally Blonde," and she became known for playing the female love interest in romantic comedies. She won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role as June Carter Cash in "Walk the Line."
Witherspoon began to produce movies, including "Gone Girl" and "Wild," (in which she also starred) and was nominated for a second acting Oscar.
Maine: Patrick Dempsey
Born: Jan. 13, 1966
Birthplace: Lewiston, Maine
High school: Buckfield High School (Buckfield, Maine), St. Dominic Regional High School (Auburn, Maine), Willowridge High School (Houston)
Bottom line: Actor Patrick Dempsey was born in Lewiston, Maine, in 1966, and grew up in Buckfield. He studied juggling and began acting in stage productions in his teens.
Dempsey appeared in a series of supporting roles in teen sitcom and comedy TV shows and films. His breakthrough came when he landed the role of Dr. Derek Shepherd (aka McDreamy) on "Grey’s Anatomy."
Dempsey also has appeared in a series of light leading man roles in films such as "Made of Honor" and "Bridget Jones’ Baby."
Maryland: Anna Faris
Born: Nov. 29, 1976
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland
High school: Edmonds-Woodway High School (Edmonds, Washington)
College: University of Washington
Bottom line: Actress Anna Faris was born in Baltimore, Maryland. She began acting as a child and would get all the kids in her neighborhood to help her put on plays. When Faris was 6, her family relocated to the state of Washington, where she went to high school.
Faris described herself as a "drama-club dork" and did not date until her senior year. " I liked guys, but no one really liked me," said Faris, who then got a degree in English literature at the University of Washington.
After graduation from college, Faris headed to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. She is best known for her role in the "Scary Movie" franchise and has appeared in many movies.
Massachusetts: Mark Wahlberg
Born: June 5, 1971
Birthplace: Dorcester, Boston, Massachusetts
High school: Copley Square High School (now Muriel Sutherland Snowden International School at Copley)
Bottom line: Actor and producer Mark Wahlberg was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1971. He dropped out of school at 14 and embarked on a life of petty crime and drug-taking. Wahlberg was sent to jail for attempted robbery, started working out and came out of prison determined to turn his life around.
With his brother’s help (Donnie was a member of New Kids on the Block), Walhberg started a new career as a popular bad-boy rapper and model. He switched to acting and began to take on a range of roles, from comedy to thrillers, in movies such as "Three Kings," "The Perfect Storm" (for which he could use his native Boston accent), "Planet of the Apes" and "I Heart Huckabee."
Wahlberg also has produced popular TV series such as "Boardwalk Empire" and "Entourage."
Michigan: Michael Moore
Born: April 23, 1954
Birthplace: Flint, Michigan
High school: Davison High School (Davison, Michigan)
College: University of Michigan—Flint
Bottom line: Filmmaker and author Michael Moore is one of Michigan’s best-known native sons. He was born in Flint, Michigan, in 1954, and grew up in the suburb of Davison.
Moore studied journalism at the University of Michigan—Flint. After leaving college, he worked as an editor for "Mother Jones" before turning to documentary filmmaking. Moore’s first film, "Roger & Me," was a surprise hit, and he went on to make a series of hard-hitting documentaries, focusing on political corruption and corporate greed.
His other films include "Bowling for Columbine" (about school shootings), "Fahrenheit-9/11" (about the U.S. invasion of Iraq), "Capitalism: A Love Story" and "Trumpland." Moore has written or co-authored eight nonfiction books.
Minnesota: Garrison Keilor
Born: Aug. 7, 1942
Birthplace: Anoka, Minnesota
High school: Anoka High School
College: University of Minnesota
Bottom line: Writer, columnist and actor Garrison Keilor was born in Anoka, Minnesota, in 1942. He graduated from the University of Minnesota, where he started his broadcast career on the student-run station, Radio K.
Keilor began writing for The New Yorker in 1969 and has been a syndicated columnist for Salon since 2005. He launched "A Prairie Home Companion" in a small theatre in St. Paul. The variety, music and talk program became one of the most-loved radio shows in America, running until Keilor retired in 2016.
Places, history and people (real or fictional) from Minnesota featured heavily on the show. And Keilor's observational humor and storytelling connected with audiences across the country.
Mississippi: Oprah Winfrey
Born: Jan. 29, 1954
Birthplace: Kosciusko, Mississippi
High school: Lincoln High School (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), Nicolet High School (Glendale, Wisconsin), East Nashville High School (Nashville)
College: Tennessee State University
Bottom line: Actress, producer and talk show host Oprah Winfrey was born in 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi. She started out as a TV news anchor in Baltimore, Maryland, and co-hosted a local talk show called "People Are Talking."
Winfrey went on to host her own talk show, "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which had a 25-year run on daytime television. She was the first African-American billionaire, and the first woman to own and produce her own talk show.
Winfrey is a generous philanthropist and has received many awards for her professional work and humanitarianism. As an actress, she appeared in "The Color Purple" and "A Wrinkle in Time."
Missouri: Jon Hamm
Born: March 10, 1971
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri
High school: John Burroughs School (Ladue, Missouri)
College: University of Texas, University of Missouri
Bottom line: Actor Jon Hamm was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1971. He started acting as a child and won a scholarship to study drama at the University of Missouri.
Hamm worked as a day-care teacher and high school teacher before moving to Los Angeles. He was famously dropped by his agent (William Morris Agency) after Hamm failed to book a single acting job in his first three years in California.
Hamm’s breakthrough when he landed the role of Don Draper in the TV series "Mad Men."
Montana: Michelle Williams
Born: Sept. 9, 1980
Birthplace: Kalispell, Montana
High school: Santa Fe Christian Schools (San Diego, California)
Bottom line: Actress Michelle Williams was born in Kalispell, Montana, in 1980 and grew up in rural parts of the state. When she was 9, her family moved to San Diego, California.
Her first acting role was on the TV series, "Dawson’s Creek." Williams began to appear in supporting roles in films such as "Dick" and "Prozac Nation." She began to appear in indie films, including "The Station Agent" and "Imaginary Heroes."
William’s breakthrough role was as the wife of a gay cowboy in "Brokeback Mountain," for which she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
She has since landed leading roles (and further Academy Award nominations) in films such as "My Week With Marilyn" and "Blue Valentine."
Nebraska: Hilary Swank
Born: July 30, 1974
Birthplace: Lincoln, Nebraska
High school: Sehome High School (Bellingham, Washington), South Pasadena High School (South Pasadena, California)
College: Santa Monica College (Santa Monica, California)
Bottom line: Actress Hilary Swank was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1974. Swank was discovered as a child by a producer and given acting lessons and coaching. She was also a competitive gymnastics and swimming athlete.
Her father was a traveling salesman, and the family lived in Washington state for a few years. Her parents separated when she was 15, and Swank and her mother moved to Los Angeles, where Swank finished high school and began her acting career.
She had small roles, including one in "Buffy The Vampire Slayer." Swank’s breakout role was in "The Next Karate Kid." She has since had leading roles in films such as "Million Dollar Baby," "Boys Don’t Cry," "Insomnia" and "Freedom Writers."
Swank has won two Oscars for Best Actress, in 2000 for "Boys Don't Cry" and in 2005 for "Million Dollar Baby."
Nevada: Matthew Gray Gubler
Born: March 9, 1980
Birthplace: Las Vegas, Nevada
High school: Las Vegas Academy of the Arts
College: New York University
Bottom line: Actor, producer, director and artist Matthew Gray Gubler was born in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1980. He studied film directing at New York University (NYU) and landed his first acting role while still in school in "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou."
Gubler has appeared in films such as "500 Days of Summer" and "Suburban Gothic" (a cult classic). He is best known for his role as Dr. Spencer Reid on the long-running TV series "Criminal Minds."
Gubler is also an expressionist painter.
New Hampshire: John Irving
Born: March 2, 1942
Birthplace: Exeter, New Hampshire
High school: Phillips Exeter Academy
College: University of Pittsburgh, University of New Hampshire, University of Iowa
Bottom line: Writer John Irving was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942. He set several of his books and short stories in Exeter.
Five of Irving’s novels, including "The World According to Garp," "Hotel New Hampshire" and "Cider House Rules," have been made into movies.
He is the only writer to win an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay from his own novel.
New Jersey: Bruce Springsteen
Born: Sept. 23, 1949
Birthplace: Long Branch, New Jersey
High school: Freehold High School (Freehold Borough, New Jersey)
College: Ocean County College (Toms River, New Jersey)
Bottom line: Musician Bruce Springsteen was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, in 1949. He wanted to become a singer at age 7 after seeing Elvis Presley on "The Ed Sullivan Show," and he bought his first guitar at 13.
Springsteen played in a series of bands until 1972 when he signed a recording contract with Columbia Records and released his first solo album, "Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J." Springsteen recorded this and subsequent albums with a group of musicians known as "The E Street Band."
His third album, "Born to Run," was a huge success, both critically and commercially. In 1984, Springsteen released, "Born in the U.S.A.," which became one of the best-selling albums of all time.
His nickname is "The Boss" as his songs often address the struggles of working-class Americans.
New Mexico: Neil Patrick Harris
Born: June 15, 1973
Birthplace: Albuquerque, New Mexico
High school: La Cueva High School (Albuquerque)
Bottom line: Actor Neil Patrick Harris was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1973. He grew up in Ruidoso, New Mexico, where he started acting at age 8 in a school production of "The Wizard of Oz."
Harris made his feature film debut at 15 in "Purple People Eater" and "Clara’s Heart." A year later, he landed the title role in the TV series, "Doogie Howser, M.D." which turned him into a teen idol.
When that role finished, Harris returned to stage acting and also appeared in a number of TV and feature movies. He landed a recurring role in the TV series "Numb3rs" and a starring role on "How I Met Your Mother."
New York: Jerry Seinfeld
Born: April 29, 1954
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York
High school: Massapequa High School (Long Island, New York)
College: State University of New York at Oswego, Queens College
Bottom line: Comedian and actor Jerry Seinfeld was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1954. He graduated from Queens College where he got his start in comedy in school productions.
Seinfeld performed in local clubs and resorts until his career took off after an appearance on a Rodney Dangerfield HBO comedy special.
In 1989, Seinfeld partnered with producer Larry David to create "The Seinfeld Show," which became a long-running hit TV comedy.
North Carolina: Evan Rachel Wood
Born: Sept. 7, 1987
Birthplace: Raleigh, North Carolina
High school: Homeschooled (received high school diploma at age 15)
Bottom line: Actress Evan Rachel Wood was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1987, into an acting family. She started acting at age 5, when she screen-tested for "Interview with the Vampire."
Wood’s family moved to Los Angeles so she and her brother could focus on their careers. She has appeared in TV series and movies, as well as feature films. Wood’s breakout role came in the movie "Thirteen," which garnered her nominations for Golden Globe and Screen Actor Guild awards.
She was nominated for both Emmy and Golden Globe awards for her role in the HBO miniseries, "Mildred Pierce." Wood also starred on the TV series "Westworld."
North Dakota: Josh Duhamel
Born: Nov. 14, 1972
Birthplace: Minot, North Dakota
High school: Minot High School
College: Minot State University
Bottom line: Actor Josh Duhamel was born in Minot, North Dakota, in 1972. At Minot State University, Duhamel studied biology and played football. After graduation, he worked in construction and modeled, before getting into acting.
Duhamel’s breakout role was as the lead in "The Picture of Dorian Gray." He’s appeared in films such as "Movie 43," "Scenic Route," "You’re Not You" and "Life As We Know It" and starred in several seasons of the ABC soap opera, "All My Children."
Duhamel is best known for his role as Captain William Lenox in the "Transformer" franchise.
Ohio: Halle Berry
Born: Aug. 14, 1966
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio
High school: Bedford High School (Bedford, Ohio)
College: Cuyahoga Community College
Bottom line: Actress Halle Berry was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1966 and grew up in Bedford. She was named after a local department store chain, Halle Brothers.
Berry won the Miss Teen All-American Pageant and was a runner-up in the Miss USA Pageant. This led to a modeling career, which in turn, led to a TV series, "Living Dolls," and an acting career.
Berry has appeared in numerous feature films, including "Gothika," "Catwoman," "Jungle Fever," "Cloud Atlas" and "Swordfish." She was the first African-American actress to win an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in "Monster’s Ball."
Berry also plays Storm in the "X-Men" franchise.
Oklahoma: Ron Howard
Born: March 1, 1954
Birthplace: Duncan, Oklahoma
High school: John Burroughs High School (Burbank, California)
College: University of Southern California
Bottom line: Actor, producer and director Ron Howard was born in Duncan, Oklahoma, in 1954. He started out acting as a child, and became well-known for his role as Opie in the long-running TV series, "The Andy Griffith Show." Howard went on to star in the TV series, "Happy Days" and feature films, such as "American Graffiti."
He switched to the other side of the camera and began directing, starting with comedies such as "Splash" and "Night Shift." Howard has made some of Hollywood's most popular films and worked with many of its top stars.
He is best known for movies such as "Parenthood," "Cocoon," "Backdraft," "Apollo 13," "A Beautiful Mind," "Frost/Nixon" and his adaptations of Dan Brown’s "Da Vinci Code" books, with Tom Hanks.
Oregon: Ty Burrell
Born: Aug. 22, 1967
Birthplace: Grants Pass, Oregon
High school: Hidden Valley High School (Grants Pass)
College: Southern Oregon University, Penn State
Bottom line: Actor Ty Burrell was born in Grants Pass, Oregon, in 1967. He attended Southern Oregon University and then went to Penn State, where he earned a master of fine arts (MFA).
Burrell landed roles in "Black Hawk Down" and "Dawn of the Dead," establishing his acting career. He also appeared in "Macbeth" on Broadway. He has appeared in a number of TV series, including "Law and Order."
In 2009, Burrell landed a lead role on "Modern Family," which has won him two Emmy Awards.
Pennsylvania: Will Smith
Born: Sept. 25, 1968
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
High school: Overbrook High School (Philadelphia)
Bottom line: Actor, comedian, rapper and producer Will Smith was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1968. Smith started his career as a rapper, calling himself The Fresh Prince.
His breakout acting role came on the TV comedy, "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," which ran for six seasons. Smith switched to movies, landing roles in "Six Degrees of Separation" and "Bad Boys." His next roles in "Independence Day" and "Men in Black" firmly established Smith as both a box-office and action star.
Smith has continued his action streak with movies such as "I Robot," "I Am Legend," "After Earth" and the "Men in Black" franchise. He has also played in serious dramatic movies, such as "Concussion" and "Pursuit of Happyness." Newsweek called him the most powerful man in Hollywood in 2017, and Forbes rates him as the most bankable movie star in Hollywood.
Still a proud son of the City of Brotherly Love, Smith now owns a share of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team.
Rhode Island: Cormac McCarthy
Born: July 20, 1933
Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island
High school: Knoxville Catholic High School (Knoxville, Tennessee)
College: University of Tennessee
Bottom line: The writer Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island in 1933. In 1937, his family relocated to Tennessee, where his father worked as a lawyer for the Tennesse Valley Authority, and that is where M
He is considered one of the top four most influential American novelists of his generation. MacCarthy’s works have won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award.
His novels, "All the Pretty Horses," "The Counselor," "No Country for Old Men" and "The Road" have all been made into Hollywood films.
South Carolina: Viola Davis
Born: Aug. 11, 1965
Birthplace: St. Matthews, South Carolina
High school: Central Falls High School (Central Falls, Rhode Island), Rhode Island College, Juilliard School
Bottom line: Actress Viola Davis was born on her grandmother’s farm in St. Matthews, South Carolina, but left the state when she was a child. She grew up and went to college in Rhode Island, where she studied theater, before attending the Juilliard School in New York City.
Davis started acting in small roles in TV movies and series, before winning a Tony Award for her performance in a Broadway play, "King Hedley II." Her star continued to rise, with roles in "Doubt," "Traffic," "Fences," "The Help" and the action film "Widows."
She starred in the TV series "How To Get Away With Murder" from 2014 to 2020. Davis is the first African-American actress to win the "Triple Crown" of acting awards: an Emmy, Oscar and Tony. The New York Times called her one of the 25 greatest actors of the 21st century.
South Dakota: Tom Brokaw
Born: Feb. 6, 1940
Birthplace: Webster, South Dakota
High school: Yankton High School (Yankton, South Dakota)
College: University of Iowa, University of South Dakota
Bottom line: TV journalist and author Tom Brokaw was born in Webster, South Dakota, in 1940. He graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in political science.
He had been a radio journalist in college and started working for a morning news program in Omaha, Nebraska, after graduation. Brokaw eventually became NBC’s Washington correspondent and covered historic stories, such as the Watergate scandal, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet Union.
He hosted "Today" and then "The NBC Nightly News," where he remained until retiring in 2004. Brokaw also has written several best-selling books on American history and politics.
Tennessee: Dolly Parton
Born: Jan. 19, 1946
Birthplace: Locust Ridge, Tennessee
High school: Sevier County High School (Sevierville, Tennessee)
Bottom line: Country music star and actress Dolly Parton was born on a small farm in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, in 1946, into a large family of 12 children. She started performing at 12, appearing on Knoxville TV, and by 13, she was recording for a small label and playing at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
She has become one of country music’s most iconic performers, is the star of numerous TV specials and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999. Parton has won numerous Country Music and Grammy Awards. She’s appeared in several films, including "9 to 5," "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," "Rhinestone" and "Steel Magnolias."
In addition to touring, playing and recording music, Parton runs a multimillion-dollar media empire and a theme park, called Dollywood. She is also a well-known philanthropist and established a literacy program called Dolly’s Imagination Library.
Texas: Beyonce Knowles
Born: Sept. 4, 1981
Birthplace: Houston, Texas
High school: Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Alief Elsik High School (both in Houston)
Bottom line: Singer and actress Beyonce Knowles was born in Houston, Texas, in 1981. Beyonce is a multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning singer who is currently one of the best-selling artists of all time.
She started out as the lead singer of an R&B group called Destiny’s Child and released her first solo album, which won five Grammy Awards, in 2003. Since 2004, she has been a solo artist.
Beyonce has acted in several movies, including "Goldmember" and "Dreamgirls." She is also a businesswoman, with fashion, fragrance and makeup lines.
Utah: Robert Redford
Born: Aug. 18, 1936
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California
High school: Van Nuys High School (Van Nuys, California)
College: University of Colorado, Pratt Institute, American Academy of Dramatic Arts
Bottom line: Robert Redford was born and grew up in Santa Monica, California, but thanks to the famous Sundance Film Festival and Institute, Redford is more firmly associated with the state of Utah. He is a well-known actor, director, producer, prominent environmentalist and philanthropist.
Redford won a baseball scholarship to the University of Colorado, but dropped out of school to travel and live in Europe and train as a painter. He returned to New York and studied acting.
Redford began acting on stage and TV before moving across to the big screen. He has starred in over 60 films, including iconic films such as "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Great Gatsby," "The Way We Were," "The Sting," "All the President’s Men," "The Horse Whisperer" and "The Natural."
In the 1980s, wanting to foster new independent filmmaking in the U.S., he established both the Sundance Institute and Film Festival on his property in Utah.
Vermont: Zosia Mamet
Born: Feb. 2, 1988
Birthplace: Randolph, Vermont
High school: Crossroads School (Santa Monica, California)
Bottom line: Actress and producer Zosia Mamet was born in Randolph, Vermont, in 1988.
She is the daughter of writer and director, David Mamet, and actress, Lindsay Crouse. Her parents divorced when Zosia was 2, and she moved to Los Angeles with her mother and sister Willa when she was 5, and grew up in Pacific Palisades.
Zosia is best known for her roles in "The Kids Are Alright," "Girls" and "Spartan."
Virginia: Sandra Bullock
Born: July 26, 1964
Birthplace: Arlington, Virginia
High school: Washington-Lee High School (Arlington)
College: East Carolina University
Bottom line: Actress Sandra Bullock was born in Arlington, Virginia, in 1964. Her mother was a German opera singer, and Bullock grew up between Germany and the United States, spending much of her childhood in Nuremberg.
She started acting in the children’s chorus of the operas in which her mother sang. Bullock studied acting at East Carolina University and moved to New York to pursue a stage career. She also began acting in films and on TV.
Bullock’s breakout role was as the co-star of "Speed." She has become one of Hollywood's most bankable female stars, known for her many romantic comedy movies, including the "Miss Congeniality" series, "Two Weeks Notice," "The Proposal" and "Practical Magic."
In recent years, Bullock has taken on more serious dramatic roles, including "The Blind Side," "Our Brand Is Crisis" and "Gravity." She won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in "Blind Side."
Washington: Rainn Wilson
Born: Jan. 20, 1966
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington
High school: Shorecrest High School (Shoreline, Washington)
College: Tufts University (one year), University of Washington, New York University
Bottom line: Actor Rainn Wilson was born in Seattle, Washington, in 1966. He attended Tufts University for a year and then transferred to the University of Washington and Tufts University, where he graduated with a degree in drama, before enrolling in NYU’s graduate acting program.
Wilson spent his early acting career in theater both on and off-Broadway, before moving to film and TV. His career breakthrough came as a supporting character in the TV series, "Six Feet Under."
Wilson is best known for his role as Dwight Schrute on the TV series, "The Office."
West Virginia: Chris Sarandon
Born: July 24, 1942
Birthplace: Beckley, West Virginia
High school: Woodrow Wilson High School (Beckley)
College: West Virginia University, The Catholic University of America
Bottom line: Actor Chris Sarandon was born in Beckley, West Virginia, in 1942. As a teen, he played drums with a local band and performed in musicals.
Sarandon attended West Virginia University as a speech major and continued to perform in musicals. He received his master’s in theater from Catholic University, where he met his future wife, actress Susan Sarandon.
Chris Sarandon continued to tour and perform in regional theater productions. He and wife, Susan, moved to New York, where Sarandon continued to act in theater and had a long-running role on the daytime soap opera, "The Guiding Light." He had a breakthrough role in the movie "Dog Day Afternoon" and began to appear in feature films, often as dark or creepy characters.
Sarandon is best known for his roles in "Fright Night" and "The Princess Bride." He continues to mix acting on the stage, TV and smaller film roles.
Wisconsin: Mark Ruffalo
Born: Nov. 22, 1967
Birthplace: Kenosha, Wisconsin
High school: First Colonial High School (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
College: Stella Adler Conservatory (now the Stella Adler Studio of Acting)
Bottom line: Actor Mark Ruffalo was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 1967. He grew up in Virginia and California, eventually settling in Los Angeles, where he took acting classes at the Stella Adler Conservatory and co-founded the Orpheus Theatre Company.
Ruffalo appeared in small film roles but had to work as a bartender for a decade to make ends meet. His breakthrough role came in an off-Broadway play, "This Is Our Youth." This led to larger and lead roles in movies, including "Wind Walkers" and "The Last Castle."
Ruffalo appeared in a number of critically acclaimed and successful films, including "The Kids Are Alright," "Shutter Island," "Zodiac," "Reservation Road" and "Spotlight." His role as Dr. Bruce Banner (aka The Hulk) in the "Avengers" franchise made him a box-office star.
Ruffalo continues to appear on the stage and in movies.
Wyoming: Matthew Fox
Born: July 14, 1966
Birthplace: Abington, Pennsylvania
High school: Deerfield Academy (Deerfield, Massachusetts)
College: Columbia University
Bottom line: Although Matthew Fox was born in Pennsylvania, his family moved to Crowheart, Wyoming, when he was an infant, and he grew up on a ranch. He has ridden horses since he was 6.
Fox studied economics and played football at Columbia University and planned to have a career in finance. An agent convinced him to try modeling, which resulted in his acting in TV commercials.
Deciding he preferred acting, Fox began to appear in small roles on TV. His breakthrough came with a lead role on "Party of Five," a TV series that ran for six seasons. Fox next appeared in the cryptic and popular series, "Lost," which also ran for six seasons.